LAGOS, NIGERIA — Nigeria is expected in 2021 to see decreases in grain supplies because of conflict and economic factors made worse by secondary effects of COVID-19, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Corn production in the 2021-22 marketing year is estimated at 11.1 million tonnes, a 4% decrease from a year earlier. The decline is attributed to insecurity in the Nigerian corn belt.

“Currently, major areas of the corn belt are experiencing intense conflict conditions, which are major threats to agriculture,” the USDA said. “Currently, farming communities are under intense fear. Many farmers are not going to farms because of fear of kidnapping for ransom.”

Harvested area is forecast at 6 million hectares, an 8% drop from the 2020-21 marketing year. Yield per hectare is estimated to increase slightly to 1.8 tonnes per hectare from 1.77 tonnes per hectare, the USDA said.

Consumption is projected at 12.1 million tonnes, a 2.5% increase from the USDA’s estimate of 11.8 million tonnes in 2020-21.

Another year of low wheat production is expected, the USDA said, with an estimated total of 55,000 tonnes. Area harvested is expected to decrease by 5,000 hectares to 55,000 hectares.

Nigeria is struggling to meet rising wheat demand, with consumption forecast at 4.9 million tonnes, 10% higher than a year ago, the USDA said.

“Wheat consumption is expected to grow, but the recent foreign exchange restriction is impeding growing domestic demand,” the USDA said.